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Artistic Achievements Rewarded with Four Honorary Doctorates 2012

News: Jun 05, 2012

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel, writer Madeleine Gustafsson, artist Albert Paley and Professor Gert Z Nordström have been awarded honorary doctorates at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, the University of Gothenburg. The University of Gothenburg will be inviting them to an official conferment ceremony for honorary doctors on 19th October 2012.

Anna Lindal, Dean of the Faculty, sees great worth in these four people being awarded doctorates.

- It is an honour and pleasure to present the Faculty’s honorary doctorates for 2012. They are all significant for our new departments and will bring invaluable competence, perspectives and experiences into our Faculty.


Gustavo Dudamel is a conductor of world-class expertise. He has been principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra since 2007 and in 2011 also became principal conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. During the time he has spent in Gothenburg Gustavo Dudamel has been the prime mover in starting the regional orchestra school El Sistéma, a project that creates opportunities for widening participation in higher music education. Gustavo Dudamel has been of particular significance for the Academy of Music and Drama in two areas: The Music College in Hammarkullen, which collaborates with children and young people in El Sistéma, and the programme for orchestra musicians, the Swedish National Orchestra Academy – SNOA, where many of the teachers have connections to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and have introduced Dudamel’s thoughts into their teaching.

Gustavo Dudamel is a role model and a source of inspiration to our teachers as well as to students on our arts programmes. He has introduced new perspectives for art as a social phenomenon and shown how art can contribute to sustainable development in social issues. Read more


Madeleine Gustafsson is a leading Swedish critic, translator, poet and essayist. As a critic she has an unequalled ability to listen in subtle shadings of meaning and she conveys the readings she undertakes in a humble, yet dedicated way. She is a prominent poet and essayist with a number of ‘much-talked-of’ books to her name.

As a translator and as a writer of introductions for mainly French and German literature Madeleine Gustafsson has made invaluable contributions in making Post-War literature accessible in Swedish. She is a constant source of inspiration to many who aspire to literary careers, both within and outside the Faculty.


Albert Paley is an American artist smith and a long-standing international leader in the metal/sculptor arena. During the autumn of 2011 Albert Paley was invited to take part in the newly started Artist-in-Residence programme at Steneby – School of Craft and Design in Dalsland. A critical debate on artistic blacksmithing was a product of this residency, inspiring and creating awareness among the students and staff at the school.

Awarding Albert Paley an honorary doctorate is the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts’ way of drawing attention to someone who has contributed to the aesthetic, technical and contextual development of artistic blacksmithing in the 21st century.

Gert Z Nordström attended ‘Slöjdföreningens skola’ (the Handicrafts Association’s School of Crafts, now HDK – School of Design and Crafts) and the Valand School of Fine Arts, from 1950-59. During this period he began his career as an artist. In 1968 he was appointed Deputy Head of the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) and Director of the Art Teacher Institute (teckningslärarinstitutet). In 1990 he was installed as Sweden’s first Professor of Visual Arts Education.

Gert Z Nordström has been of vital importance for the development of a new art subject in Swedish secondary and upper secondary education. He has also left his imprint as a researcher, writer and as an arts and culture writer. In 2006 Gert Z Nordström came back to Gothenburg where he now gives lectures in Visual Arts Education at HDK – School of Design and Crafts.

Photo credits: Gustavo Dudamel, Anna Hult. Madeleine Gustafsson, Johan Wingborg. Albert Paley, Håkan Karlbrand. Gert Z Nordström, Kajsa Nordström.

7 departments to become 3
From 1st July 2012 the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts will be made up of three departments: the Academy of Music and Drama, HDK – School of Design and Crafts, and the Valand Academy.

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Page Manager: Pia Ahnlund|Last update: 4/6/2016
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